The bodies of two Nova Scotia men were discovered separately around Halifax in the span of a single week, prompting police to issue a public advisory about area gay cruising spots May 11.
“Both victims were gay men who were known to frequent cruising areas in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM),” Deputy Chief Chris McNeil of Halifax Regional Police said during a May 11 news conference according to a report in a Halifax newspaper, The Chronicle Herald.
“We are issuing a public advisory for potential safety concerns in cruising areas in HRM,” he said.
Michael Knott was reported missing May 2. His body was found by an ATV rider in a wooded area near Mill Cove, about a 100 km drive from Halifax, May 5.
Police did not release details about the cause of his death, but the man’s car was found by an RCMP officer near Halifax Stanfield International Airport–about a 100 km drive from where his body was found May 7. Forensic investigators are examining the car.
Trevor Brewster was reported missing May 8. His body was discovered stuffed under a boardwalk at Frenchman’s Lake in Dartmouth May 9. Investigators say the body had been there for several days, but did not relase the cause of death. Police are looking for Brewster’s missing car, a black two-door Honda Civic.
“There isn’t any indication that this is targeted at gay men in particular but we have two gay men that are dead,” RCMP constable Grant Webber told Xtra May 12. “These could be two isolated incidents and [the victims] just happen to be gay men, but we put the warning out so the gay community knows at least what is going on here to be aware.”
The investigation is a joint effort of the RCMP and the Halifax Regional Police.
“The police have a difficult job and we appreciate that they’ve made an effort to work with the community and understand the issue and get the safety warning out,” Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project chair Kevin Kindred told Xtra May 14. “The police have been making every effort to deal with the community in a sensitive way.
“I think the news has taken the community by shock,” continues Kindred. “People are concerned and are taking the police warning seriously. At the same time they’re trying not to speculate, but are anxious to hear further details as the investigation unfolds.”
With files from Matt Mills.